Catherine Deneuve’s porcelain perfection hides a cracked interior in one of the actress’s most iconic roles: Séverine, a Paris housewife who begins secretly spending her afternoon hours working in a bordello. This surreal and erotic late-sixties daydream from provocateur for the ages Luis Buñuel is an examination of desire and fetishistic pleasure (its characters’ and its viewers’), as well as a gently absurdist take on contemporary social mores and class divisions. Fantasy and reality commingle in this burst of cinematic transgression, which was one of Buñuel’s biggest hits.
Winner of the Golden Lion at the 28th Venice International Film Festival.
Directed by Luis Buñuel
Adaptation and Dialogue by Luis Buñuel and Jean-Claude Carrière
Based on the novel by Joseph Kessel
Produced by Henri Baum and Robert & Raymond Hakim
Cinematography by Sacha Vierny
Editing by Louisette Hautecœur
Production Design by Robert Clavel
Costumes by Hélène Nourry
Sound by René Longuet
Starring Catherine Deneuve, Jean Sorel, Michel Piccoli, Geneviéve Page, Pierre Clémenti, Françoise Fabian, Macha Méril, Muni, Maria Latour, Claude Cerval, Michel Charrel, Francisco Rabal, Georges Marchal, and Francis Blanche